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Gear

After six years on the road it is finally time to introduce my gear and equipment. From now on you find this information as well on a page in the main menu.

The Bicycle

Intec M1 steel frame, 26”

Shimano XT gear system

Wheels:

Exal SP 19 with DT Swiss Spokes, back wheel XT Hub, front wheel Shimano Dynamo Hub

Replacement because of Bearing defects and broken spokes (front)

Replacement because of free wheel defect and worn down rims (back)

front: Alexrims ACE 19 with DT Swiss spokes

back: Rigida Andra 30 with DT Swiss spokes

Schwalbe Marathon Mondial tires (second ones)

backtire now CST Camber

Brooks B17 Imperial leather saddle (the second one)

Tubus rear rack and front Lowrider

Shimano rim brakes Avid 7 rim brakes

Plastic Mudguards

Mirror

Vaude Bags, by now front bags from Ortlieb. Handlebar bag Trekking Backpack, small backpack

simple lock

rear light

Tools and Spare parts( Photo), reflective vest with logo „Critical Mass Islamabad“

First change of the cassette after 35.000 km

Time for a new tire


Specialities:

Padding of the pedals for cycling bare feet

Handmade leather hand grips

Different lucky charms at the handlebar

Improvised repairs

Small rubber band to lock the brakes, super useful so that the bike can´t roll away or fall over while parked

Self made front rack for the crossing of Australia


My house

Exped Venus 3 Extrem

for two persons, for years it kept me dry, warm and mosquito free, until the zippers were broken beyond repair

Marmot Eon One Person Tent in combination with a plastic tarp

self made footprint out of Tyvek

Exped Synmat Ultralight simple Yoga mat

Mammut Ajungilak Synthetic -5 degree, Mountainhouse down sleeping bag,comfort 7 degree, plus cheap synthetic sleeping bag, plus selfmade fleece inlet


Kitchen

Primus Omnifuel cooker, Pot with pan lid, cup, spoon, Opinel knife (the third), different plastic boxes, sometimes a cutting board, grinder, Coffee maker (sorted out in an attempt to reduce my luggage before a flight, still regret it) spices, most important: food


Electronics

Lenovo X220 Thinkpad, 7 years old, (one time display replaced)

Canon 60D, Sigma 17-70mm 2.8-4.5 (one time auto focus repaired), Canon 85 mm 1.8,

sigma 10-20 mm, after three years broken

ND Filter, changeable, Polarization (has a crack)

heavy tripod

GoPro Hero 2, after 4 years USB plug defect, defect microphone, and defect electronics (would start filming on its own until battery empty and/or SD card full)

GoPro 4, was a present

Audio Recorder Zoom H1 plus Microphone Rode Video mic

Head torch, small flashlight

Mp3 Player, No. three or four, a San Disk Clip with SD card

since 2017 Smart phone, Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini

Power bank and Solar charger


Clothes:

By now most of my things are from a second hand shop or things I got gifted from people, or swapped or what I found somewhere.

Jumper 3 Euro Second Hand New Zealand, Trousers 10 Euro Second Hand Chile

Shirt and Trousers 7 Euro Second Hand, Wollen Jacket and Telephone were a present, Sunglasses I found next to the road, Shoes 30 Euro new in chile

Two long pants, one shorts, two underwear, two pair of socks, two merinowoll t-shirts (out of a ALDI dumpster in Australia!), long sleeve, merinowoll pullover, hoodie, one shirt, Vaude Rain jacket, (not waterproof anymore since long time), rain pants (waterproof but too short), a pair of shoes, often a pair of sandals (right now just one thong, still waiting that I will find another one)

Winter:

All the winter clothes I still have from the beginning, almost since 7 years

thin woolen gloves, thick waterproof gloves, woolen socks, long underpants, thermo long sleeve, woolen hat, buff, Icebreaker soft shell jacket


Miscellaneous:

first aid kit (more and more reduced to the necessities)

Toothbrush and nail clipper, self made toothpaste, soap and coconut oil, tea tree oil

Compass, two harmonicas, didgeridoo (well, a simple plastic tube, functioning as well as a stand for the bike), a bag full of wool, leather, crystals, shells, feathers etc. to make beautiful things, books, paper maps, documents and some other things


Philosophy:

In principle you can travel with any kind of bike, most important it rolls. Already decades ago people cycled the world, with simple three gear bikes and without all this modern fripperies. I met people with cheap second hand bicycles and bags made out of empty water jerry cans. Everything is possible. But if you travel for a long time and also want to cycle more extreme routes, it is better that you can trust your bike and that you have spare parts and knowledge to repair. By now I would save some money with a few things (for example Shimano XT is not really necessary), but for wheels I spend always money and try to find the best replacement. Also all the functional clothes and special camping equipment gives you a lot more comfort, but is not necessarily needed.

I try to use things as long as possible, until you can´t fix them anymore. My clothes are stitched several times and I don´t buy new things, especially not expensive special cloth. Most of my things are out of second hand shops, things I got gifted because people didn´t need them anymore or things which I found in dumpsters of big supermarkets (for example two brand new merinowool t-shirts, a long cycle pants, and a pullover (Thank you Aldi!). I think there are already enough clothes on this planet and especially because I saw how many of these get produced (keyword sweat shops in Bangladesh), I don´t want to be part of this system of exploitation. Cloth has for me more a functional value than it is a trend statement. When I don´t need a thing anymore I give it away or trade it.

Time for new sandals

I don´t agree with the worldwide economic system based on growth, which needs to produce more and more and needs us to use and buy more and more things. The ecological and economical consequences can be seen everywhere if you open your eyes.

Vest, Pants and Pendant were gifts, the scarf and the feather I found on the road


Bike packing vs. Heavy loader

Often I think that I have to many things. Especially when I force myself up a steep hill, maybe with 5 liter of water and the same amount of food and my bike packed to the brim. And if I then encounter one of these bike packers, with minimal equipment and a pitiful look for me on his face while he easily overtakes me, then I plan to sort out some things and reduce my load properly. But normally I don´t do it. I have the feeling that I need everything. If not today maybe tomorrow, or at one point for sure. And this is finally not a few weeks journey but it is my life. Of course I need a laptop for my photos and videos, books, a coffeemaker, musical instruments, and I also like to collect things. Especially if I encounter beautiful rocks, crystals or shells I can´t resist.

And additional to that I collect all kind of other things which could be useful one time. If not for myself than maybe for someone else. The thought that I have, compared to many other people, actually not many things, is helpful then. And if I find myself camping with one of these bike packers, watch him shivering because he hasn´t got enough warm clothes or watch him waiting for half an hour until his cup of water on his alcohol-can-stove boils for a noodle soup dinner, then I know why I like to push my bike up a hill from time to time.


What things I take care of the most:

Passport

Although I´m not a fan of travel restrictions and borders of countries, it is the German Passport which allows me to travel in almost any country easily. And if you loose the passport it is time- and money consuming to get a new one.

Hard drive with pictures and videos

Of course, the memories are in my head, but I connect many Photos with certain memories. I do make backups from time to time, but the hard drive is one of my most valued possessions.

My health and physical integrity

Especially because I live without an insurance.

Credit Card

because that gets stolen gladly and it is just so useful to get money out of an ATM

Bicycle

because from a material point of view it would be the most expensive thing to replace. My camera and laptop are quite old by now and it wouldn´t be too expensive to replace them, so I´m not so worried anymore to loose them.

Only occasionally I lock my bike (but if I use it without luggage almost all the time). Who is going to steal a fully loaded touring bike, especially if there are a lot of people around and watch. Without problems I leave it alone for a few minutes (or hours by time), particularly in poorer countries where are a lot of people around. Or I ask at a house or a street vendor if they can have an eye on it. Only my passport and money I take with my, or the whole handlebar bag with the camera inside.

Just at night it is different, in India for example I often took my bike into my hotel room or had it at least behind a locked gate.

 

5 thoughts on “Gear

  1. Sehr spannende Beschreibung! Zwei Fragen haette ich: Ist eine Cloud-Loesung fuer die Festplatte nicht einfacher? Und: Bereitet es dir keine Sorgen, ohne Krankenversicherung zu sein?

  2. Cloud Lösung ist gut wenn man sicherstellen kann von Zeit zu Zeit eine schnelle Internetverbindung zu haben. Leider ist das in vielen Ländern nicht gegeben und es können schon mal 20 oder 30 GB an Fotos und Videos zusammen kommen in einem Monat. Ich nutze aber Dropbox um persönliche Dokumente, Passport Scan und so etwas zu sichern.

    Zum Thema Versicherung: Es mag unvernünftig oder gar leichtsinnig sein ohne Versicherung zu leben und manchmal mache ich mir schon Sorgen was ist, wenn doch etwas passiert, besonders ein Unfall oder eine schlimme Krankheit. Aber das ist auch irgendwie das Risiko des Lebens, was die meisten Menschen sowieso ohne jegliche Absicherung zu tragen haben.
    Ich hatte eine Auslandskrankenversicherung welche sich nach 5 Jahren nicht mehr verlängern lies. Eine neue wäre recht kostspielig im Vergleich zu meinen sonstigen Lebenskosten, besonders da viele Versicherungen Radfahren als risikoreich ansehen und extra Aufschläge verlangen oder direkt kategorisch “interkontinentale radreisen” ausschließen. Auch sind die Versicherungsbedingungen oft so gestaltet, dass sie dem Versicherer genügend Schlupflöcher bieten um im Versicherungsfall nicht zahlen zu müssen. Ich habe den Eindruck, letztendlich geht es den meisten Versicherungen erstmal ums Geld und danach kommt das Wohl der Menschen.

  3. Hallo Florian,
    es ist immer wieder spannend, Deine interessant geschriebenen Berichte zu lesen und Deine Reise mitzuverfolgen. Deine nicht nur äußerliche Veränderung von 2012 bis 2018 ist schon beeindruckend.
    Viele Grüße

  4. Hallo Florian, dankeschön für deine Reiseberichte (besonders den Australien-Film finde ich sehr gut). Das I-Tüpfelchen ist nun dein sehr informatives Ausrüstungs-Special. Wie hast Du denn das Wunder geschaft, 35.000 km mit nur einer Kassette zu fahren? Was für ein Typ/Hersteller? Bei mir springen die Ketten spätestens nach 10.000 km über (beim Fahren mit 2 Ketten Wechsel-System).
    Gute Reise und Gesundheit wünscht
    Jörg

  5. Hallo Jörg!
    Es handelt sich um Shimano XT System und ich fahr auch zwei Ketten im Wechsel. Wenn die Kette anfängt zu rutschen, einfach weiter fahren, das gibt sich nach ner gewissen Zeit. Ich hab dann aber auch die Kurbelgarnitur gleich mit ausgewechselt.

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